Author Interviews, JAMA, Social Issues / 20.10.2020 Interview with: Aaron Baum, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health System Design & Global Health Economist, Arnhold Institute for Global Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System What is the background for this study? Response: To what degree are geographic health disparities in the leading risk factors for morbidity and mortality in the United States – including elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, obesity, and poor mental health – driven by the place where people live versus by characteristics of the people who live in different places? For example, male adults in Mississippi are 33% more likely to have uncontrolled blood pressure and 54% more likely to be obese than male adults in Colorado. One explanation is that male adults who live in Mississippi are different is many other ways from male adults in Colorado, some of which can't be directly measured and adjusted for, and that those unobserved differences cause the health disparity. Another possibility is that the place where a person lives actually contributes to the health disparity. Using national electronic health records from the Veterans Health Administration, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of 5 million adults, including 1 million who moved zip codes exactly once between 2008-2018. Our goal was to isolate how a movers' likelihood of uncontrolled blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity and depression changed in response to changes in the prevalence of each outcome in his or her environment. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Exercise - Fitness / 21.09.2015

Yi-Wen Chen PhD Candidate, and Darlene Reid, BMR(PT), PhD Professor and Chair Department of Physical Therapy University of Toronto Toronto, Interview with: Yi-Wen Chen PhD Candidate, and Darlene Reid, BMR(PT), PhD Professor and Chair Department of Physical Therapy University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Tai Chi is a time-honored exercise in China, developed during the Sung Dynasty, which has gained increased popularity in Western society. Most styles of Tai Chi consist of slow rhythmic movements that often emphasize typical attributes of exercise including range of motion, strengthening, balance, and postural alignment. In addition, there are spiritual aspects of Tai Chi that focus on relaxation, breath control, and cultivating internal energy. Several studies have demonstrated its multifaceted benefits in the elderly and in people living with chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disorders and arthritis. If you were interested in seeing videos of beginner practices, check out some tai chi online to better clarify the motions previously described. Many individuals that require increased exercise and physical fitness also have one or more comorbidities; 9 out 10 Canadians live with more than one chronic condition and this proportion increases to 98% in adults over the age of 65 years. Increased fitness can increase quality of life and decrease risk of mortality and morbidity in older persons and in many chronic conditions. However, treatment, including exercise is often prescribed within a single specialty. Rarely is information provided to health professionals that integrates therapeutic approaches across several common chronic disorders. Accordingly, we performed a systematic review to determine if Tai Chi is an effective physical activity that improves symptoms, physical function, quality of life and depression in cancer, osteoarthritis (OA), heart failure (HF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? We also examined if Tai Chi had similar effects for the same outcome measures across different chronic conditions? (more…)
Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 28.06.2013

Genevieve Kenney Ph.D Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Health Policy Center The Urban Institute 2100 M Street NW Washington DC  Interview with Genevieve Kenney Ph.D Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Health Policy Center The Urban Institute 2100 M Street NW Washington DC 20037 What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Kenney: Our study is the first published analysis that draws on physical examinations, laboratory tests, and patient reports to assess the health needs and health risks of uninsured adults who could be eligible for Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act relative to the adults who are already enrolled in Medicaid. Our main findings are that the uninsured adults who could enroll under the ACA are less likely than the adults with Medicaid coverage to be obese and to have functional limitations and chronic health problems, such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes, but that the uninsured adults with these chronic conditions are less likely to be aware that they have them and less likely to have the condition under control. In comparison to the Medicaid population, the uninsured adults in our study were also less likely to have seen a health professional in the prior year and to have a routine place for care.  The rates of undiagnosed and uncontrolled chronic health care problems found in our study indicate that millions of low-income uninsured adults are currently at risk of premature mortality and other significant health issues.  These findings provide new evidence of the potential health benefits associated with the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. (more…)